Author's Note 6/21/2013: I'm adding a note to all my fics to tell my readers that yes, all fics will be finished and I am writing. As some of you know, I had a huge health scare, and between October and February was sidetracked with that, having to have gyn surgery in January as well as some extensive medical treatment with side effects. I am now two weeks post op from sinus and nasal surgery and have had complications. It is no party. I'm not even looking forward to vacation next week, but very glad we opted not to fly, as I could not comfortably, but now face a 14 hour drive each way. Oh well, I'm sure I'll feel better soon.
So this being said, my head and heart just isn't always in my writing, and I refuse to just post something for the sake of it, but there are bits and pieces completed, including much of the rest of Double Take and Domestic, so just hang in there for me. Thanks.
Well gosh, things didn't go as planned as I had intended to post a basically completed three chapter fic all at once before my surgery in January... But it's good news all around! The surgery went fine and even though this little fic did not go up quickly, it will be longer! This is the third of perhaps 5-6 chapters, I'm still playing around...
It's a transitional chapter mostly, been sitting in my hard drive for a while, but it's fun. Hope you enjoy!
Guest – how do we know by one sentence that Batman is the bad guy here? Perhaps he was simply teasing Robin, observing that Robin wasn't working at that particular moment?
"Titan mainframe: override code BMCB1."
Robin's words commanded the computer to switch the television to a test pattern and halting the transmission with the Batcave. "Starfire, keep Batman busy while, dammit, I find my shirt... where is it? Shit... mask... forget it... I can probably only do that once more with the computer... nope... I'll be back... and Batman will hack back in in three... two... and-"
Robin had left the room just as the Titan's television again blinked to life. Once more it showed the amused face of Batman again because of course his work on his on keyboard to the corresponding computer in the Batcave had taken just moments to override whatever Robin had done to halt the transmission. Once the video call was rerouted and they were reconnected, Batman was connected to a mostly covered up Starfire – covered up with partially positioned clothing and with an extra layer of modesty added with the help of her hair now out of the confines of its ponytail holder – who was now alone on the sofa and smiling at the screen.
Starfire's back was rigid. She was a seasoned diplomat as the princess of Tamaran and after all took a cleansing breath to greet Robin's mentor, she could only do her best: she knew she was a poor liar and was already calculating the odds of her failure in the keen analytical side of her brain.
"Greetings Batman! Are you enjoying the comfort and joy of the tidings of the season?"
"Hello Starfire." Batman let his gaze do most of the work for him.
Starfire held her smile as her only chance of convincing Batman of the innocence of the situation he was seeing before him had fallen another Standard Deviation from the expected value...
"The Dryer fire is taken care of!" Robin shouted from the hallway.
Robin jogged into OPS, still wondering why his mask, or at least something, felt odd. "Beast Boy has to stop leaving Tofa String Cheese in his uniform pockets-"
"It does do the combusting with the lint." Starfire said mournfully and nodded.
It truly did. And this was something Bruce knew as well. Beast Boy had to pay for a new dryer out of his Meaty Meat money one time, but other times it came out of Beast Boy's locked-away-until-he-was-waaaay-into-his-thirties Dalton money, and Bruce wouldn't be Bruce in any incarnation if he wasn't on top of that little detail concerning the Tower's bottom line.
Bruce crossed his arms, a random dim light in the Batcave flashing off his gauntlets ominously. "Why the computer mainframe override then?"
"Oh, um-" Wait – what? Robin didn't have a answer at the ready?
"In case there is the power surge. Even though there is the separate 220 volt line to the dryer of the clothing, we have noticed that there has been a slight 'pull' on the electrical supply lately with this particular dryer... Well we as in I mean me." Starfire remained focused on Batman, subtly tucking her hands under one another so she wouldn't fidget as she continued her explanation. "As a Tamaranian, I am sensitive to all types of energy flow, not only the solar energy, which I know you are aware of Batman. Although I tolerate many such energies such as the radiation to a degree so that I am undamaged by great amounts of it, it does not mean I do not do the feeling of it."
Both Batman and Robin just looked at her.
Robin blinked. That wasn't a lie, was it? And the way she said 'the feelings' well, was there a certain meaning there perhaps?
Robin cleared his throat. Twice. "We should discuss it with Cyborg when he returns." His voice sounded particularly leader-y. Normally Starfire would have swooned but she was still just barely holding up on her end of the little charade.
With those words that somehow Robin had added, that appeared to be the end of the discussion.
"I was actually quite pleased that you've caught up on all your reports Robin," the Dark Knight said thoughtfully. "Therefore I'll be sending the Batplane so you can come up tomorrow and we can train for the weekend and there is a charity event I need you to attend-"
"Oh?" Batman cocked a brow. Was he amused?
"I have a city to protect."
"You have a team."
"Cyborg, Beast Boy and Raven are on special assignment and-"
"Hey Bruce, you're missing the party! Wow, this place gets destroyed all the time but you always manage to put it back the same way. Oh look, the Penny, a classic. And the T. Rex. Carol, come on-"
Robin's eyes went wide behind his mask and Starfire hit the floor to be out of sight.
"Come on, Bru-, ahem," Hal Jordan, Earth's Green Lantern used air quotes, "'Batman', Carol's a Star Sapphire. She's a Superhero too! Batcave's hardly off limits to those of us 'in tights', right ole chum?" Hal turned his attention to the screen. "Oh hey Robin, why are you hiding behind the coffee table? And where's your shirt?"
"It's nothing Hal. Just another night at Titans Tower." He thought his mask felt strange. Shit, he was shirtless... yup, off his game.
"Hey, how's Starfire?"
"I am the fine Hal, but quite the embarrassed at the moment." Starfire remained curled up in a pathetic ball behind the coffee table next to Robin, forlorn that she had embarrassed him. She should not have come on that strong in the common area even when they were alone together.
Robin rolled his eyes. Now Hal knew they were busted on the sofa. "You guys alone for the evening?"
"We were until this call." Robin's voice still defeated.
"So Robin, you will report in the morning and we will resume your training-"
"Bruce, the rest of my team is... on assignment away from Jump so it's just Starfire and me covering Jump."
"But things have been so quiet since your took down the Brotherhood of Evil-"
"So now I took them down? What about before when you said we were just lucky-" A gentle hand curled around his leg, subtle, supportive, loving. "Yes. Things have improved throughout the World since the Brotherhood of Evil has been put away, but there's patrolling and petty crime, and the non-associated criminals. The City need us."
"So it's a no then."
Robin knew there would be some sort of retaliation or backlash from Bruce because of this, but that was not his problem now. He had already gotten off easy about the shirt. Or lack thereof.
"It's a no."
"Merry Christmas, Robin." Batman didn't hide his smirk – on his face or in his voice.
That was it? Robin wasn't sure, but didn't question it. "Merry Christmas, Bruce. Robin, out."
"You are awful hard on that kid."
"When I want your opinion Hal-"
"I know, I know: You'll beat it out of me. Gives me an idea though..."
"Do not corrupt him!" Bruce gave his best Batglare and Hal laughed him off.
"Oh that is hilarious coming from you!"
"That was humiliating."
"I feel as awkward as a rhorthian zothgaar whelp as it first attempts to suckle-" Starfire buried her face in her hands
Robin burst out laughing.
"What did I say?"
"You 'feel as awkward as a rhorthian zothgaar whelp as it first attempts to suckle?' It sounds adorable."
"No, it is not. Their three horns are far to heavy for their weak necks, their mothers are most uncooperative assisting them to their udders for she does not wish for the babies horns to stab in to her as they first attempt to nurse, she is grouchy and hungry and is most unkind to her little whelp until she eats. It is not adorable. A baby rhorthian zothgaar is most awkward."
"Actually that sounds pretty pathetic."
Starfire choked back a sob.
"Oh but you, Starfire, are adorable." She gave him an uncertain look. "C'mere. We have had so much fun today, haven't we?"
He pulled her close. "Let's not let Bruce spoil it. I'm the one who completely forgot about my shirt. Talk about distracted, Star, this has been an amazing day."
Starfire looked up at Robin through her lashes. "It has. And to think of all the things we got done around the Tower while we were enjoying ourselves."
"Yes, and let's not stop enjoying our evening. Where were we?"
Starfire pushed back against Robin's chest. "Let us do the learning of our lesson and either move the TV or move elsewhere."
"I'll move the TV."
Relaxed as he had been in months if not years, Robin swiftly went through the headlines and other news articles on this iPad while sitting with his feet on the coffee table. Starfire's head rested on his thigh as she pondered her way through Pride and Prejudice in its Regency style.
Her sighs told him what he already knew: not unlike many other readers, it wasn't always easy for Starfire to read period literature. "Here, I have something for you."
He handed her his iPad. She scooted up to sit next to him, carefully placing her bookmark to find her spot when she returned to her reading. "I've downloaded an illustrated and annotated version of Pride and Prejudice for you. The additional information will fill in some of the blanks. The book takes place two hundred years ago in England and is written to an audience that would have understood what the author is talking about."
"So I am not the only one?"
"No. Were you the only one who had trouble with Beowulf?"
She crossed her arms and jutted her chin a bit, but still blushed. There had been a bit of an argument over Beowulf given that Starfire had a very easy solution. "Had I been allowed to go to Jump City College and do the lip contact with the proper professor, the Beowulf would have been no challenge for me."
Robin growled. "Yes, you're right, I had the problem," he said, his voice tight. "There are times when it is necessary, when there are good reasons that we must use your special still to learn new languages and then there are... are... other times"
"Like with the Beowulf?"
"Perhaps there are subtleties of the text that you can use in your battle strategy."
"Three battles? Well- hey, there are great translations already."
"Perhaps. Plus the professor was hardly attractive enough to kiss anyway."
"I thought it was only lip contact!"
"Yes, the lip contact."
"But you said kiss."
"You know you did."
"Do you wish to remind me what this 'kiss' is to feel like Robin?"
"Because if I am confusing it over simple lip contact, then I must have forgoten-"
Starfire found herself on her back on the couch under Robin so quickly she was stunned. His voice menacing after a brush of his lips to hers that didn't match his tone at all, "I'm the only one you kiss," a slight gasp made him wonder if he went too far. "Please Kori," he murmured against her lips and her gasp turned into a moan. He gently kissed her.
"I did not mean to do the teasing of you."
"And I did not mean to be a jealous, possessive jackass."
"I believe that your description is a bit over-the-top, is it not?"
"Not if you knew what I was thinking."
"You have nothing to worry about Richard, I am yours."
"I have no idea what I did to deserve you."
To be continued...
Thank you for reading and reviews always appreciated...